If something should happen

By Rick Benjamin

for instance, if plates,
                                  tectonic I mean, should
                                                                    shift under all that weight
                              between them, cause earth
to fall into itself &
                          take everything with it, if roof 

                                                                                 above my head should 

                                           fall, leaving only stars
&, tonight a moon we call
                                   thumbnail, if ground
                                                                     opens to swallow whole
                                   what until now we’ve found 

stable, will I know
                                   to stand up from the table
                                                                             where I’ve just served dinner
                                           & offer a toast to life,
find the right rhyme in
                                   that moment of dissolution,
                                                                           say, l’chaim to each guest
                                           I’ve ever invited in, all 

of us toasting with unbroken
                                                 glasses, by which I mean,
                                                                               hearts, as we fall, face-first
                                                                 into the next place?

Rick Benjamin’s has published four books of poetry, most recently Some Bodies in the Grief Bed (forthcoming from Homebound Publications). His current project is a book about work that poetry helps us to do in our lives. He teaches at UCSB, Goleta Boys & Girls Club, Community Arts Workshop, a juvenile detention facility and elsewhere. Also from this poet: "Old Pillow"